Shabaka Hutchings and The Ancestors announce new album We Are Sent Here By History



“What happens after that point when life as we know it can’t continue.”

Jazz saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings is releasing a new album with his The Ancestors collective, We Are Sent Here By History, via Impulse! Records this March.

Read more: London x Chicago x Johannesburg – The new international jazz triangle

Conceptualised as an hour-long sonic poem, with lyrics written and performed by Siyabonga Mthembu, We Are Sent Here By History explores African and Afro-Caribbean traditions, drawing parallels between the album and the modern-day griot, or storyteller.

Joining forces once more with his band The Ancestors, with whom he released Wisdom Of Elders on Brownswood in 2016, Hutchings describes the album as a “meditation on the fact of our coming extinction as a species. It is a reflection from the ruins, from the burning.”

Recorded in Johannesburg and Cape Town in 2019, the album also features contributions from Mthunzi Mvubu on alto sax, Ariel Zamonsky on double bass, Gontse Makhene on percussion and Tumi Mogorosi on drums. Nduduzo Makhathini (Fender Rhodes), Thandi Ntuli (piano), Mandla Mlangeni (trumpet) also appear on selected tracks.

The album follows Sons of Kemet’s Your Queen Is A Reptile, and The Comet Is Coming’s Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery, both previously released on Impulse!.

We Are Sent Here By History is released on 13th March. Head here to find out more, check out the artwork and tracklist below.


1. They Who Must Die
2. You’ve Been Called
3. Go My Heart, Go To Heaven
4. Behold, The Deceiver
5. Run, The Darkness Will Pass
6. The Coming Of The Strange Ones
7. Beasts Too Spoke of Suffering
8. We Will Work (On Redefining Manhood)
9. ‘Til The Freedom Comes Home
10. Finally, The Man Cried
11. Teach Me How To Be Vulnerable

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